Boeing hid safety risks in 'criminal cover-up,' whistleblowers tell Senate

Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times on

Published in Business News

In sworn testimony before a U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday, a Boeing engineer reiterated his accusation that Boeing has hidden safety risks on the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 widebody jets, rejecting the account Boeing provided Monday in an effort to reassure the public.

And a former Boeing manager accused the company of a “criminal cover-up” in the government’s investigation of the fuselage panel blowout aboard a Boeing 737 Max on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 in January.

A bipartisan group of senators piled on criticism of Boeing during the hearing before a Homeland Security subcommittee, which coincided with a separate hearing on safety issues at Boeing before the Senate Commerce Committee. The Senate scrutiny reflected the collapse of public trust in the U.S. jet maker and the fierce backlash since the alarming Alaska in-flight incident.

“Boeing is at a moment of reckoning. It’s a moment many years in the making,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, who chaired the hearing, calling the testimony “serious, even shocking.”

“There are mounting serious allegations that Boeing has a broken safety culture and a set of practices that are unacceptable,” he said.

The Republican ranking member on the committee, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, joined the chorus of Boeing criticism, even after noting that air travel has the best safety record of any form of transportation.


“It’s what I keep telling myself when I go on an airplane. And even when I hop on a 737 Max,” Johnson said. “But I have to admit, this testimony is more than troubling.”

Blumenthal said the committee will call further follow-up hearings and wants both the FAA and Boeing to testify, including Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun.

'I’m not going to sugarcoat this'

The hearing was before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations within the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.


swipe to next page

©2024 The Seattle Times. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus